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Playing Politics

Listening to the "Playing Politics" podcast from the Star Tribune and WCCO Radio is like taking a seat at the Editorial Board table and hearing an informed and opinionated weekly discussion of all things political in Minnesota and the nation. "Playing Politics" features WCCO’s Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune’s John Rash in addition to editorial writer Patricia Lopez and columnists Lori Sturdevant and D.J. Tice – award-winning journalists who bring varied perspectives to the issues of the day.

EPISODE 122
October 18
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Pompeo met with

Listen: Khashoggi case becomes foreign policy crisis

The disappearance and apparent murder of a Saudi journalist has international and domestic political implications. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 121
October 10
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (left), republican, along with Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Congressman Tim Walz, DFL, participated in

Listen: Walz-Johnson race heats up

A sharper contrast in priorities, and style, emerges in the campaign for Minnesota governor. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.
EPISODE 120
October 3
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison on June 17, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Craig Lassig/Zuma Press/TNS)

Listen: Ellison allegations cloud campaign(s)

Accusations from a former girlfriend of the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general are impacting other elections, too. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 119
September 26
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Commit

Listen: Kavanaugh nomination headed for a Senate showdown

The Supreme Court nominee faces new accusations prior to Thursday's testimony. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 118
September 12
President Donald Trump participates in the September 11th Flight 93 Memorial Service, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Shanksville, Pa. Trump is marking 17

Listen: Anonymous Op-Ed dominates week in Washington

A commentary from a "senior official" is the latest challenge for the Trump administration. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 117
September 5
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, center, joined by from left, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen.

Listen: Kavanaugh hearings split Senate and maybe the nation

Highly charged confirmation proceedings reflect America's deep divisions. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 116
August 22
President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaves New York Federal Court after making a plea deal on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Co

Listen: Manafort conviction, Cohen plea put pressure on Trump

The president's former lawyer directly implicates him on payoffs. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 115
August 8
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, left, and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson are battling for the Republican nomination for Minnesota governor.

Listen: Primary races down to the wire

Political turbulence continues heading into Tuesday's election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Scott Gillespie.
EPISODE 114
July 25
In this July 12, 2018 photo, farmer Don Bloss examines a tall sorghum plant in his field in Pawnee City, Neb. Farmers and agricultural economists are

Listen: Tariffs tear into Trump support

The president's $12 billion aid plan for farmers is ripped by some Republicans. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 113
July 18
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palac

Listen: Despite walk back, Trump firestorm burns on

The president tried to clarify his news conference comments, but the controversy continued. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 112
June 27
Demonstrators opposed to abortion outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, June 26, 2018. A state law requiring "crisis pregnancy center

Listen: Supreme Court rulings boost Trump, GOP

Three key decisions go the administration's way. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 111
June 20
A 2-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. The

Listen: Firestorm forces Trump reversal on detained children

As the president heads to Duluth, he signs an executive order on his controversial policy. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 110
June 6
Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison files to run for Minnesota attorney general.

Listen: A wild week in Minnesota politics

The stakes in state and congressional races ramp up as multiple seats are put in play in the primary and general election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 109
May 30
In this May 26, 2018 photo provided on May 27, 2018, by South Korea Presidential Blue House via Yonhap News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, r

Listen: Summit an uphill diplomatic climb

Negotiations over a potential summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seem to mostly be about the meeting itself. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 108
May 23
Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the Republican tax bill at Bruce Vento Elementary in St. Paul and called attention to his own bid to pressure Republicans to a

Listen: Will Dayton's vetoes frame 2018 campaign?

The Minnesota governor's dismissal of major tax and spending bills will likely resonate in the next election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 107
May 16
FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, sun rises behind the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota lawmakers return to Capitol on Tues

Listen: Legislature stalls as state races heat up

Unfinished business at the Capitol contrasts with an active campaign season. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 106
May 10
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after announcing that he is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room of the White House

Listen: Will Iran deal breaking impact North Korea negotiations?

President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the global accord may affect his upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 105
May 3
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, left, welcomed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C.

Listen: Shifting stories on the Stormy Daniels case

Rudolph Giuliani's new narrative amplifies the political – and possibly legal – challenges facing President Donald Trump. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 104
April 25
Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley holds a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor for stronger gun laws. Other DFL reps are joining her. She is here with Raym

Listen: Sit-in as Legislature stands pat on gun laws

DFLer Erin Maye Quade led a protest against her colleagues' lack of action on gun legislation. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 103
April 20
This combination photo shows President Donald Trump speaking during a roundtable discussion on tax policy in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on April 5,

Listen: Comey book roils Washington

The former FBI director's high profile contrasts with the low profile of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 102
April 6
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Baltic leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Washington.

Listen: Trump ramps up trade dispute with China

Beijing's response to Washington's tariffs may hit Minnesota and other Midwestern states. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez
EPISODE 101
March 28
In this March 26, 2018, photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center left, his wife Ri Sol Ju, left, are accompanied by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinpi

Listen: North Korea negotiations gaining traction?

Kim Jong-Un's surprise trip to China suggests a substantive meeting with President Donald Trump is possible. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 100
February 28
A Dick's Sporting Goods store is seen in Arlington Heights, Ill., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

Listen: The politics – and business – of the gun debate

The shift by Dick's Sporting Goods on its gun-sales policies reflects an evolving societal stance on guns. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 99
February 21
FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, sun rises behind the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota lawmakers return to Capitol on Tues

Listen: Legislative session starts calmly. Storm clouds ahead?

The 2018 campaign hangs over the 2018 session as lawmakers are gaveled to work. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 98
February 14

Listen: Porter scandal scars White House

Questions continue over what West Wing officials knew about Rob Porter's alleged domestic violence. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.